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Memorial service set for Lee County commissioner

By Staff | Apr 29, 2019

Larry Kiker

A memorial service for Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker will be held on May 2 at 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, at 17260 Harbour Point Drive, Fort Myers.

The service is open to the public.

Kiker, 67, passed away on April 23 at Hope Hospice following a series of treatments for cancer.

Kiker, who earned an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, left the corporate world to move to Fort Myers Beach where he operated a charter service for 10 years as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain and dive master. He later was elected to the Fort Myers Beach Town Council in 2007, after serving one year on the Local Planning Agency.

He served two terms as a member of the Fort Myers Beach Town Council – five of those years as mayor – before resigning in 2012 to run for the District 3 Lee County Commission seat.

Kiker secured a second term on the BOCC in 2016. He served as chair of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners twice, first in 2014 and again beginning in November 2018.

“Under his leadership, he restructured the county’s budget process and began holding twice-a-month workshops to discuss and develop policy on important issues facing the people of Lee County,” a release from the county states in listing his accomplishments.

Kiker also received credit for one of Fort Myers Beach’s largest public infrastructure projects.

“Kiker also spearheaded the effort to reconstruct the entire length of Estero Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach,” the release states.

Although Kiker and his wife of 14 years, Paula, had moved off island to Fort Myers, they remained an integral part of the beach business community as owners of Lahaina Realty.

Among his commendations, the county lists the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2009 and the Florida Association of Counties’ Presidential Advocacy Award in 2014.

“He will be remembered for seeking innovative and meaningful solutions to the challenges his community faced, working to make the quality of life better for the people he served,” the release states.

Because Kiker had filled more than half of his current term, a special election to fill the now-vacant seat is not an option.

The Lee County Attorney’s Office will notify the Governor’s Office by letter and Gov. Ron DeSantis will appoint a successor to fill the remainder of Kiker’s term.

The appointed replacement need not live in District 3 but, should he or she seek to be elected when the term is up in 2020, that person would be required to reside in the district to run.

In the past, the Governor’s Office has accepted applications when a vacancy occurs. There is no statutory timeline for filling the seat.